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(Science Magazine)   One banana two banana three banana floor, scientists discover that monkeys can do math   (news.sciencemag.org ) divider line
    More: Interesting, maths, rhesus macaques, apple juice, monkeys, National Academy of Sciences, neurobiologists, chimpanzees, systematic errors  
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576 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Apr 2014 at 7:51 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



19 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-04-21 07:53:34 PM  
4 bananas are a bunch?
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-21 07:55:48 PM  
Or they do better at math than english...
www.blogcdn.com
It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times.?!
 
2014-04-21 08:16:10 PM  
www.theforbidden-zone.com
 
2014-04-21 08:54:40 PM  
A rhesus monkey does a couple of crude math problems and he gets a whole study done for himself, I throw my feces at the neighbor kids when they get too close to my breeding partner and I get a citation. I pray for this once great country.
 
2014-04-21 09:05:57 PM  
Monkey doing math like a moth on meth is just a myth.

Ellen Muth.
foundwalls.com

/yeah, nuthin'
 
2014-04-21 09:08:32 PM  
Animals are wicked smart. Any observational biology can
show you this. The problem is the "scientists" who claim animals aren't intelligent are too damn lazy to go outside, so they get a cat, and house cats confirm their bias.
 
2014-04-21 09:40:41 PM  

doglover: Animals are wicked smart. Any observational biology can
show you this. The problem is the "scientists" who claim animals aren't intelligent are too damn lazy to go outside, so they get a cat, and house cats confirm their bias.


I dunno pet cats seem to be onto a good thing.  If I could sleep for 80% of the day, spend the other 20% of it licking my genitals, getting backrubs and eating I'm pretty sure I'd be too happy to think about anything either.

Predator cats?  They are apex predators in some pretty hostile environments.  They have to be pretty good at meeting the cognitive demands of their environments to still be around. Hell even a feral house cat needs to be pretty on the ball to survive.
 
2014-04-21 10:07:08 PM  
Yeah but them kinda monkeys can't swing.
 
2014-04-21 10:47:12 PM  
 ...the monkeys weren't 100% accurate. They tended to underestimate a sum compared with a single symbol when the two were close in value-sometimes choosing, for example, a 13 over the sum of eight and six. The underestimation was systematic-when adding two numbers, the monkeys always paid attention to the larger of the two, and then added only a fraction of the smaller number to it.

So they aren't really "adding" by the strict definition of the word. This whole thing sounds suspiciously like what I recall Euro-American ethnographers discovering about so-called "primitive" humans they were studying a century or so ago. Namely, that in many cultures people could count one-two-three-many.
 
2014-04-21 11:33:16 PM  

doglover: Animals are wicked smart. Any observational biology can
show you this. The problem is the "scientists" who claim animals aren't intelligent are too damn lazy to go outside, so they get a cat, and house cats confirm their bias.


Anyone who has actually watched a house cat outside doing it's own thing would know a cat is pretty smart in its own ways, some are stupid, but that's true of people as well.  Two of my cats, even though they don't really like each other, assist each other in ambushes -- one will hide and the other draws out the prey, usually birds and mice; they also run with the dogs when I let them out and come in when I call the dogs back inside.  Then again, I've also seen some pretty stupid cats....Also heard about a guy that cut off his own dick then jumped out a two story window...hurr durr potato comes in all species.

My dogs are a lot smarter than my cats, but mid to large breed dogs are usually smart if the owner bothers with any kind of training like I did.
 
2014-04-22 12:03:00 AM  
www.syfy.com
No monkeys means no monkeys.
 
2014-04-22 12:08:25 AM  
(now I've read the article)

Subby missed something bigger: This isn't just math. This is also reading.

I have no idea if macaques have already been taught to read numerals. But even if that part isn't new this is still symbols -> numerical meaning -> math -> do something because of it.

That whole series of functions hasn't been done by humans for very long; until just the last hundred years or so has only been done by semi-religious elites in a few countries; and even now isn't universal among humans.
 
2014-04-22 01:56:38 AM  

Stone Meadow: So they aren't really "adding" by the strict definition of the word. This whole thing sounds suspiciously like what I recall Euro-American ethnographers discovering about so-called "primitive" humans they were studying a century or so ago. Namely, that in many cultures people could count one-two-three-many.


It sounds like the monkeys have a good grasp of the numbers 1-25, using the base 26 systems invented by the researchers, so it's not just 1,2,3,many. It's just that monkeys tend to prefer a single large number over two numbers added together.

Humans have all sorts of weird number biases that are capitalized on, e.g. "it's not $25, it's only $24.99!" It sounds like all the researchers did was give a head start to monkey advertizing. "Our competitors offer two bunches of 8 bananas for $2, but we give you 15 bananas for only $2.25!"
 
2014-04-22 02:03:38 AM  
Came for The Banana Splits, leaving satisfied.
 
2014-04-22 02:27:40 AM  

skeevy420: doglover: Animals are wicked smart. Any observational biology can
show you this. The problem is the "scientists" who claim animals aren't intelligent are too damn lazy to go outside, so they get a cat, and house cats confirm their bias.

Anyone who has actually watched a house cat outside doing it's own thing would know a cat is pretty smart in its own ways, some are stupid, but that's true of people as well.  Two of my cats, even though they don't really like each other, assist each other in ambushes -- one will hide and the other draws out the prey, usually birds and mice; they also run with the dogs when I let them out and come in when I call the dogs back inside.  Then again, I've also seen some pretty stupid cats....Also heard about a guy that cut off his own dick then jumped out a two story window...hurr durr potato comes in all species.

My dogs are a lot smarter than my cats, but mid to large breed dogs are usually smart if the owner bothers with any kind of training like I did.


Yeah, but they play dumb because they hate all other animals and want man to nix 'em.
 
2014-04-22 02:56:26 AM  
I know my dogs can count, god forbid I short them even one treat at treat time.
 
2014-04-22 08:53:04 AM  
Aren't they called MBAs in the business world?
 
2014-04-22 09:40:55 AM  
As a former math teacher, I love giving good examples of using math. This article has one of the worst:

"Being able to estimate obviously has survival value; you want to be able to glance up and see how many lions are about to attack you"

Uh, no. You look up, see lions, and RUN. Good lord.

That said, this is actually fascinating and could potentially have value in how we teach. For example, perhaps the symbol types can varied which could correlate to better performance and so on.
 
2014-04-22 11:54:26 AM  

Fark like a Barsoomian: Subby missed something bigger: This isn't just math. This is also reading.


I didn't read the article ... hell ... I never even opened the article.

// saw it in my RSS feed, headline came to my mind, submitted to fark.

// don't generally read 'bio' articles, but if something farkworthy shows up in my science feed I submit it :D
 
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